By Yasmine Elsayed, February 15, 2021—
Since COVID hit, many artists had to find unique ways to adapt to the new environment. Calgary artist Kasia Sosnowski found a way to bring art to the people amidst the pandemic. Her ceramic sculptures are fun, colourful and quite aesthetically pleasing. In her new exhibit at the Esker Foundation, SNEEK-E-PEEP’N, Sosnowski ventures into ceramic art and leaves room for the observer to interpret the art however they wish. The colour scheme helps understand the playfulness that her installation conveys as well as provide a glance into the contemporary art world.
Her exhibit shows that one can still have fun during the hard times that we are all going through. In the exhibit, there are anatomically exaggerated parts of the human body and it does not necessarily have a cultural representation nor a specific statement behind it. This art targets the viewer perspective to initiate provocative or evocative emotions. Even though there are hardships, her sun sculpture shows that there is hope or light at the end of the tunnel.
Contemporary art is meant to bring out feelings — what those feelings are can range from distaste to admiring the art presented. Either way, Sosnowski succeeded in making the observer feel a certain way about her art.
Personally, I was indifferent towards the exhibit. It did not exactly ignite any specific feelings as I saw it to be playful, colorful and cute. I really didn’t try to look beyond the surface of this piece. In fact, anyone who does not have the “trained artistic eye” might view it the same way I did. That does not necessarily mean that you do not understand or get art. It could just mean that contemporary art is not your thing and that’s okay. Contemporary art is not my thing either.
However, I went and saw the exhibit with a friend that happens to be an art major. From their perspective, they thought that Sosnowski brought her feelings of anxiety and depression into the physical world. The mountain with snow on it and the hands coming out from underneath could be Sosnowski’s way of telling the observer what anxiety or depression look like to her. It’s almost poetic how she used personification to bring that piece to life.
You might be an artist and still not the exhibit, again, art is in the eye of the beholder. It does not have rules to its perception.
Overall, it is a thought-enticing exhibit that is refreshing to see. Instead of trying to make sense of the piece, try looking at the piece through the artist’s perspective as she was sculpting potentially her personal feelings or common feelings during the pandemic.